Middle-Aged Gay Men, Ageing and Ageism Over the Rainbow?

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2015-09-30
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

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Is midlife for gay men the start of a slide towards the rejection, exclusion and misery associated with the spectre of the lonely old queen? Whilst exclusion is possible as gay men age, Middle Aged Gay Men, Ageing and Ageism offers a more nuanced view of gay ageing, using sociological tools to advance understanding beyond stereotypes. Based on observation and interview narratives, it examines diverse stories of gay ageing and ageism, analysing how some men use the resources of ageing to negotiate contradictions inherent to the gay scene and to challenge gay ageism. In doing so, it complicates stereotypical views that the gay scene is largely exclusionary of midlife/older men, and that they live atomized lives outside of family. It also demonstrates how men's attempts to create an authentic form of gay identity for themselves can lead to ageism towards older and younger gay men. The book concludes by defining a new cultural politics of gay ageing.

Author Biography

Paul Simpson is Lecturer in Applied Health and Social Care at Edge Hill University, United Kingdom. He is also Principal Investigator in and founder member of the OPUS Research Group (Older People's Understandings of Sexuality) based at Edge Hill University and the Universities of Manchester, Bradford and Queensland, Australia. Previously, he lectured in Sociology at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom, for three years.

Table of Contents

1. Setting the Gay Scene: Orientation, Definitions and Themes
2. Work on the Body: Differentiating and Keeping up Appearances
3. Village Life: Alienation, Agency and Ambivalence
4. Less Accessible 'Homospaces': the Online Gay Scene, Saunas and Social Groups
5. Negotiating 'Heterospaces': Tolerance, Conviviality and Resistance at Rest, Work and Play
6. The Scene at Home with Significant Others: Intimacy and Inclusion
7. Gay Ageing Beyond Manchester: International Comparisons and Contrasts
8. Reimagining Politics and Power Relations
Appendix 1. Interview Respondents: Pen Portraits
Appendix 2. Observation Venues: Pen Portraits
Appendix 3. Map of the gay village

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